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Abstract

Three studies tested the effects of symbolic threat to group values and strength of ingroup (political party) identification on social dominance orientation (SDO), a measure of tolerance for social hierarchies. In Studies 1 and 3, conservative participants were made to feel as though their group's values were either threatened or not threatened by liberals prior to completing the SDO measure. In Studies 2 and 3, liberal participants were made to feel as though their group's values were either threatened or not threatened by conservatives prior to completing the SDO measure. Results demonstrated that high ingroup (political party) identification was associated with high SDO scores for threatened conservatives, and with low SDO for threatened liberals. These findings suggest that in response to symbolic threat, SDO can shift in directions consistent with protecting the ingroup's identity. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.